New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams appointed two Asian American women to be deputy mayors this week.
The women, Maria Torres-Springer and Meera Joshi, will be two of six deputy mayors to serve under Adams. They are the first two people of Asian descent to be appointed to the position. Five of the six deputy mayors are women.
Torres-Springer, who is Filipina American, will be the deputy mayor for economic and workforce development. She was previously commissioner of the city’s Department of Housing and Preservation Development and commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services.
“Deeply humbled to have the opportunity to serve the city again as Deputy Mayor for Economic & Workforce Development & to do so w/ these extraordinary women leaders,” Torres-Springer said in a tweet.
At a news conference Monday, she described her upbringing as the child of Filipino immigrants. After they came to the U.S., her parents worked multiple jobs. The family struggled financially, and Torres-Springer said they relied on Section 8 vouchers and food stamps through most of her childhood.
“It is the story of many New Yorkers, and as a city of immigrants, we all carry echoes of the choices that led our families to leave their homes and strike out for a better future,” she said. “My ancestors, like many of yours, were strivers and survivors, generation after generation, and so I stand here today because of their strength and resilience.”
Joshi, who is South Asian American, was appointed deputy mayor for operations.
“We’re at a critical juncture. Our city’s core infrastructure and operations need to recover from the effects of the pandemic,” Joshi said at the news conference. “We need to address the ongoing reality that Covid is still with us, and we must never lose sight of the fact that we are New York City.”
Joshi, who had been serving as federal administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, previously was commissioner of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.
“We are being accurate and intentional about changing the narrative that our city is going to be diverse,” Adams said at the news conference. “Too many talented people have been sitting on the bench, not only physically but emotionally. If you don’t see yourselves in government, you can’t aspire to be in government. Now, little girls all over this city are looking to be a police commissioner. They’re looking all over the city to be a deputy mayor.”